How to Transfer a Domain Name

Published: March 3, 2023 | Updated: March 3, 2023


A domain transfer is the process of moving your domain name from one registrar to another. It can often be a confusing process, but we will show you some best practices and how to transfer a domain name with little to no downtime. This article will ensure your transfer is as smooth as possible.

Basic Steps to Transfer a Domain:

  1. Confirm Your Domain is Eligible for Transfer
    1. Wait at least 60 days after registering domain
    2. Check domain is not on hold or suspended
  2. Make Preparations for Your Domain Transfer
    1. Update contact information
    2. Unlock your domain
    3. Obtain auth/EPP code
  3. Purchase a Domain Transfer From a New Registrar
  4. Authorize the Domain Transfer

Since each domain registrar or web hosting company is different, your process may vary. Overall, this process is usually pretty universal across companies.

Confirm Your Domain is Eligible for Transfer

Per ICANN’s Policy on Transfer of Registrations between Registrars, domains that are less than 60 days old or were transferred between Registrars within the last 60 days cannot be transferred. Please wait at least 60 days before transferring.

You also want to make sure your domain is not currently on hold or suspended.

Make Preparations for Your Domain Transfer

First, you will want to update any contact information you have on file at your current registrar. This is important as it is used by the WHOIS database and the new registrar to verify your identity and reduce any delays. Make sure you disable privacy protection (if enabled) – it protects your contact information from being publicly viewable and your new registrar needs access to this contact information for the transfer. Depending on the registrar, you may be required to check your email in order to update your contact information.

Now that your contact information is up-to-date, you will need to unlock your domain. The domain lock is enabled by default to prevent any accidental or unauthorized changes to your domain name. Once the lock has been disabled, you can usually obtain the authorization or EPP code. This code is needed by the new registrar. In rare cases, if you cannot obtain this code, you may need to contact your registrar’s support team.

Want to avoid downtime? We highly recommend that you write down your current DNS settings BEFORE you initiate the transfer. This way you can quickly restore your DNS entries to the new registrar when the transfer completes. You can also change the default name servers to point to your web server, and then change your DNS settings over at your web host.

Purchase a Domain Transfer from a New Registrar

While Sparrow Theory isn’t a registrar, we do offer domain services from our partners, including domain transfers. When you begin this process, please ensure you are purchasing a “domain transfer” and not the domain name itself. You will go through a series of questions and checks, including your domain name, domain status and authorization / EPP code. Once these requirements are met, you can purchase the transfer.

Authorize the Domain Transfer

Upon order submission, the transfer will get initiated at the Registry, and the domain acquires ‘pendingTransfer’ status. Transfers that have reached this stage are automatically confirmed within 5 days. Finally, it may take an additional 24-48 hours for the Registry to complete the transfer. During this time, you will be unable to change any DNS settings, which is why it’s crucial to have this set up prior to the transfer taking place. This entire process and waiting period is by design, as it prevents any unauthorized changes to your domain name. In some cases, you will be required to manually verify and approve the transfer via email.

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